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New Sunfish Owner Advice


New Member
I just picked up what I presume to be a late 90's Sunfish from Melbourne, FL. The owner had purchased it from the Melbourne Yacht club a few years back when they replaced their boats. Anyways, I've always wanted to sail and saw this boat as a great opportunity to learn the ways of the wind. I live in St Mary's Georgia, and would be sailing the St. Mary's River, which I'm not particularly thrilled to be swimming in when I inevitably flip the fish. I suppose I'm looking for general advise and discussion, though I'm also curious as to how often you all end up in the water. Any and all words of wisdom is greatly appreciated by this new sailor! Thanks!


Well-Known Member
If it's not really white capping or blowing 15kt+ , I don't flip. I mean...I'm sure I have with less wind, but generally with half decent sailing technique, things are pretty stable. But once you're consistently up on a plane, smashing into waves, doing jibes in higher winds.... eh..!
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I second what mixmkr says, but notice that he qualifies it with “half decent sailing technique”.

So, I imagine there is a good chance you’ll tip over. So, make sure everything is secure. Wear glasses keepers and a hat with a strap.

Also, just accept the fact that small sailboats tip over. It happens to the best of us.
Be sure to read up on what to do if you do tip over. Find a good resource and memorize what you need to do.

Ideally, you would practice tipping and righting the boat. But if the boat is in poor condition or if your river is dirty, I guess that isn’t likely to happen.

There are some threads in this forum that offer advice to new sailors. Read the recommend resources. And take sailing very seriously. Sure, you are out to have fun. But being out on the water can be very dangerous.


New Member
Thank you both for your thoughts. I do anticipate tipping a number of times, being the novice that I am. The river isn't exactly dirty here, just not the best swimming waters. It's fed by the Okefenokee swap, so the water has very low visibility; almost black. Just wanted to get an idea whether i may flip a handful of times and learn or if it's something that's a frequent occurrence (which it sounds like it wouldn't be after some skills are honed). As far as safety goes, although I am not a sailor (yet), I am an avid boater and have some tough learned respect for the water. I sincerely appreciate your concern and recommendation. I will most definitely be looking in to those new sailor forums. Thank you!